Judah and the Lion, Dan Orlando
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Andrew Ripp creates music that pushes the boundaries of genre stereotypes, blending the energetic beats of pop music into a soul culture and adding the depth and groove of soul music into a pop culture. Since beginning his career in 2005, Ripp's songs and records have successfully impacted a diverse and growing audience including true music lovers: fans that appreciate the nuances of a well crafted album, and easy listeners: fans who simply want to hear a catchy tune.
Judah and the Lion
“Friend of a friend” is the way it all came together, three very different people from very
different places, united by a shared love of music. As a band, Judah & the Lion owes much to
fate and to the small town feel of Nashville, the city that brought the trio together from
scattered parts of the country. The three met while attending Belmont University in the city,
introduced to each other through music and mutual friends.
“We all had similar stories, despite the fact that we’d grown up in different places,” explains
mandolin player Brian Macdonald, “Judah is the Southerner, I’m the Chicago city slicker, and
Nate is the laidback, bearded Rocky Mountain guy.”
One listen and you can hear the influence of each of their youths. Judah Akers in his Tennessee
hometown, listening to the soulful crackle of Ray Charles records, Nate Zuercher, a Colorado kid
into rugged rock’n’roll, Macdonald driving through the suburbs of Chicago, blasting everything
from Frank Sinatra to Billy Joel.
Somehow, all these sounds have come together in Judah & the Lion – the old school sincerity of
Southern gospel and soul, the energy of rock and the time-tested pop of classics and hits from
the past. And through it all, there is the sound too – of their shared obsession, the feverishly
nostalgic twang of bluegrass, country and traditional folk music.
Judah & the Lion is a modern pop band with a feel as old as hills and holler, Akers’ topical
lyricism matched with the familiar feel traditional instrumentation – mandolin, banjo and the
kind of vocal harmonies that make the heart ache.
“We’re all very different people but it has been obvious since the day we met that we should
make music together,” says banjo-player Nate Zuercher, “Though we’re different, we have
similar philosophies as to what is important in life and that is a huge part of what keeps us
going strong. We know it is important to enjoy where you’re at, to love the people you’re with
and live a bold and passionate life. That looks different for each of us but allows us to relate
and understand each other.”
“We met because Judah was asking around about a banjo player,” remembers Macdonald,
“Nate played banjo and I was just starting to move from guitar to mandolin, so we both went to
meet up with Judah and we just connected on a personal level.”
The three played together soon after that initial meeting and “we connected right off the bat,”
remembers Macdonald. “It wasn’t like Judah had said he wanted to start a band. He had some
songs and he wanted to hear what they sounded like with a banjo. But when we played, it felt
right and it sounded good. And we just knew we’d keep playing together.”
That playing together resulted in two successful EPs, First Fruits and Sweet Tennessee. The
latter blasted onto the Billboard charts, hitting the Top 20 in a variety of genres – No. 2 on “Bluegrass,” No. 9 on “Heatseekers” and No. 15 on “Folk.” Sweet Tennessee also made it to #1
on iTunes “Singer/Songwriter” chart and broke into the Top 25 overall albums chart. The band
has hit the road repeatedly in support of both releases, making the cross-country trek for
extensive national tours and playing to sold-out crowds throughout the South and (of course!)
in their Nashville hometown.
Whether you’ve heard the band play live or merely listened to those first two releases, you can
feel the growing connection between the trio, a musical bond of true and deeply felt emotion.
Judah & the Lion possess a resonance beyond their years and a sincerity of feeling that comes
in part from childhoods spent performing at youth groups and at Sunday worship.
And while their debut EP was a collection of worship songs, the tracks on their full-length album
are inspired by a wide variety of themes, narratives eloquently reflecting the trio’s continually
evolving lives… and sound.
Recorded March of 2014, Kids These Days embraces the band’s folk trio roots and expands
from there, banjo/mandolin/harmony forming a sonic backbone that incorporates everything
from keyboards to electric bass into a heady mix of old and new instrumentation.
“We really wanted this record to show really where we are in our lives now,” explains Akers,
“We wanted people to be able to dance to these songs and have a freshness about them that
made them lasting. Honestly, we just love life and love people and hope that comes through.”
On Kids These Days, the band explores a new range of emotional territory, writing about love
and fear and joy and all the nuanced spaces in-between. The songs on this album are about
past and future, adventure and family, confusion and hope – a collection of stories about being
young, about finding your way, while discovering - yourself.
“This record is filled with energy and a youthful spirit that absolutely encompasses our
circumstances,” say Zuercher of the album’s expansive, high energy feel, “We don't have much
but we've got a whole lot of life and passion for what we do and who we are and we hope that
people can grab a hold of that when they hear this record. It has been awesome to be able to
move forward and utilize some new sounds but we still feel like this record is US.”
In the end, Judah & the Lion has become the happy sum of disparate parts, Southern grit,
Midwestern openness, the exuberant freedom of the West, all brought together to make a truly
As a triple threat singer, songwriter, and pianist, Dan is native to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dan's music displays his smooth vocals that accompany a precise piano, groove-centric guitar, and drums to create a memorable sound for all to enjoy. His pop/rock and soul sound is often likened to the music of Billy Joel, Gavin DeGraw, and Coldplay. Before Orlando even began to speak, he was able to communicate through playing the piano. He began taking lessons at age six and continued this dedication when performing with many bands in High School. In his senior year, Dan became a solo artist and released the album "Stepping Stones," which sold 500 units during it's availabilty time on iTunes. Dan was able to convey his emotion through his newfound songwriting skills after a minor bump in the road with his band, Band of Hopefuls'. Today, Dan aspires to be a world-renowned artist that will able to impact people with his music similar to the way one of his inspirations, Elton John, has for him. Starting in September, Dan will be a regular performer at the World Cafe Live at the Queen, playing Upstairs every Friday through December.
All Upstairs tickets are General Admission. Dining is available at World Cafe Live. Reservations are accepted for Upstairs Live, our full service restaurant; we recommend scheduling a reservation time 1½ to 2 hours before show time. For more information and to see menus, please read the Restaurant Info and Dining FAQ.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE SEATS are located on all seated levels of this theatre. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-222-1400.